The 400th anniversary of the death of Giovanni Gabrieli falls in 2012, and we are hosting two concerts in celebration.
Celebrating Gabrieli on Saturday 4th February
From Venice to Dresden on Sunday 18th March
As organist at St Mark's Basilica in Venice, Gabrieli had at his disposal vocal and instrumental resources on a grand scale. This was, after all, one of the richest churches in Christendom, and significant feast days were an opportunity for a great deal of civic celebration and ostentation.
Much of Gabrieli's music makes use of cori spezzati (spaced choirs), and it's likely that groups of performers were sometimes placed some distance apart. At King Charles church we can reflect this practice, albeit dimly, with the use of the opposing galleries.
On the other hand, cornetts and sackbuts were particularly favoured for sacred music at the time because of their ability to blend with the human voice, and they would certainly have been used in amongst the choir, doubling or replacing vocal lines depending on the music or on the availability of singers. So a homegeneous and blended sound would have been prized just as much as the drama of antiphony.
In February's concert, there's a rare chance to hear live one of Gabrieli's most famous motets, the 15-part In Ecclesiis. We hope to see you there!
From Venice to Dresden; Masterworks of the Colossal Baroque
Music by Giovanni Gabrieli and Heinrich Schütz
Cambridge Taverner Choir, directed by Owen Rees
Sunday 18th March, 7:30pm
In 1609-12 the young Heinrich Schütz stayed in Venice to study with one of Europe's most famous musicians, Giovanni Gabrieli, and to learn the modern Italian styles of composition with him. Schütz went on to become the principal composer of sacred music in these expressive Baroque styles in northern Europe.
For this concert, the choir will be joined by I Musici Della Contessa, a small instrumental ensemble comprising cornetts, sackbuts and continuo.
Tickets: £12 (£10 if booked in advance)
available from Hall's Bookshop, Chapel Place (from February)
or email firstname.lastname@example.org